The JLABS @ BE resident company, Calypso Biotech, an emerging leader in the development of therapeutic antibodies for autoimmune diseases, has announced the closing of a €20M Series A financing co-led by Gilde Healthcare and Inkef Capital. They are joined by Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc. (JJDC), and the company’s founding investor M Ventures. Further, Calypso Biotech has become Resident Company at Johnson & Johnson Innovation JLABS at Beerse in Belgium ([email protected]). Arthur Franken from Gilde Healthcare will join Fiona MacLaughlin (Inkef Capital), Jeanne Bolger (JJDC) and Jasper Bos (M Ventures) on the Board of Directors.
The proceeds from this financing round will support the development of Calypso Biotech’s best-in class anti-Interleukin-15 (IL-15) antibody CALY-002 up to First-in-Patient studies in several autoimmune indications. IL-15 is an immune checkpoint cytokine that controls inflammation as well as multiple tissue-resident immune cells and recently attracted much attention in the immune-oncology space. Especially, IL-15 is being recognized as a key factor in the survival of tissue resident memory T cells, a population of immune cells involved in disease maintenance and recurrence. Calypso Biotech scientists believe that targeting tissue resident memory T cells offers significant advantages over traditional cytokine interventional approaches and could provide for unprecedented disease-modifying effects.
Calypso Biotech has chosen to develop CALY-002 in Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) as well as in other undisclosed auto-immune indications. EoE is a severe and debilitating immunerelated chronic disease of the esophagus that is the second leading cause of dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) in adults. EoE has emerged as a frequent and significant cause of upper gastrointestinal morbidity particularly associated with important quality of life impairment and significant financial healthcare burden. CALY-002 has secured Orphan Drug Designation status from the European Medicines and Food & Drug Administration agencies for EoE.